Welfare

And if you ran barefoot?

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Take off and jump on the sand, Okay. So why not on the trails or in the street? "Because it must hurt! "Will you answer? What nenni! assure the followers, who speak with enthusiasm of the benefits that this small grain of madness provides.

Agnès Rogelet

The bare foot bounces on the wet sand. A touch of seconds is enough to perceive this granite texture that propels us in childhood, when we cracked the air on the beach, thirsting for freedom. Osteopath in Anglet, Mathieu Desormières, 49 years old, had returned to this fabulous drunkenness for fifteen years when a click came four years ago. "While I was running on a path in the Landes, I took off my sneakers. Immediately, I had the impression of getting my feet out of their nursery, this protective and maternal side that the shoe provides.Sure, my first steps were anxious and I set foot with caution. to sting with a pine needle or to fart an Achilles tendon, but suddenly, a bunch of sensations burst inside me. "

The barefooting, literally" Barefoot race ", has seduced runners since 2009. The best-seller Born to Run 1 of the American Christopher McDougall, published that year, gave the start of this trend. The author describes the prowess of the Tarahumaras Indians, able to run tens of kilometers with modest sandals tinkered by their care. In the United States, communities of followers are created in stride. In France too, where today they would be about two hundred to take off occasionally or not to trot so, even on the bitumen.

A beneficial natural posture

"I started following bone damage," laughs 51-year-old blogger Christian Harberts, who opened his runpiedsnus site. com in 2010. Backache, knees ... The injuries of running in sneakers generally offer the ideal excuse to cross the course. The sole of the shoes, which leads to put the foot from the back to the front, requires to monitor his posture to stand up straight. Barefoot, we propel ourselves from the front of the foot to the heel, which creates a rebound. And a beneficial natural attitude, according to the defenders of the technique. Mathieu Desormières confirms: "The posture is set up spontaneously I notice the difference when I wear sandals that I customized from my flip flops In this case, as in shoes, I must stay focused to avoid me to receive on the heels. "

Better still get used to gradually, starting with five-minute sessions to avoid aches. Some opt for the so-called minimalist shoe, a sort of "glove" protecting small pointed pebbles and other branches that shear the arch, while preserving the perception of uneven ground."I like the feeling of playing with danger to avoid broken glass and chippings, I never hurt myself, it's a very primitive way of running, I feel like an animal, collecting information about me and the world around me, "says Léa, 22, author of the Facebook page Leah running.

Rebalanced energies

Read the floor with your feet, discover that the bitumen is sometimes hot sometimes cold, feel the smooth or rough coating, bumpy, repaired here and there ... "It's wonderful! Exclaims Christian Back from a thirty-kilometer circuit on the sidewalks of Paris, my eyes are on the ground two or three meters ahead of me, and even at a good pace, I can get my foot where it is needed. " This terrain scan is done on autopilot, without reaching consciousness, according to barefooters. They all live like a meditation. "Thanks to my yoga practice, I focus more on what goes through my feet," says Léa, "the information they send me rebalances my energies. I realize at the end of my race that I managed to make a new decision or to get to know myself better. "

" The more we return to a minimalist equipment, the more we take back power over oneself, adds Olivier Bessy, sociologist of recreation and tourism.This practice is opposed to the hyper-technologization and mediatization of running.It is a way to stand out from the crowd.While the running saturated with very Western performative values, this one, like the trail 2 , is tinged with naturalness, but it is part of the transmodernity, a notion of our time which combines the contradictions: to be zen and / or performant. " Because if some barefooters run with a connected watch and others without anything, all have the feeling of having accomplished a feat: that of having dared to overcome their fears and their prejudices, to have freed themselves from the eyes of passers-by and to assume their "strangeness"!

1. Christopher McDougall's book is available in French: Born to Run (Guérin Chamonix editions).

2. Long distance running on a path or hilly trail.

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